It’s official: the management of the Algarve’s three basic emergency units in Loulé, Albufeira and Vila Real de Santo António will be taken over by the Centro Hospitalar do Algarve on August 1.
The announcement was made by hospital boss Pedro Nunes in a press conference at Faro Hospital last week.
Nunes also confirmed 102 job vacancies for health professionals throughout the region.
It is not all good news, however. Nunes warned that some of the vacancies would not be filled and that shortages of health professionals were here to stay, in the short term at least.
The reason, he explained, was that the money his CHA administration has to play with – €2.2 million – will still involve the use of service provider companies, and many of these “run out” of doctors as so many hospitals are in need of them.
“Also, if other hospitals open vacancies at the same time, ours may not be filled,” he added.
Nunes guaranteed however that his administration is committed to hiring as many health professionals willing to work in the Algarve as possible, stressing that he hoped the Algarve will get “special attention” from the Health ministry in order to attract much-needed doctors “as soon as the country’s economic state improves”.
Lack of professionals in almost every area
As the Ministry of Health announces the hiring of 12 specialist doctors and 51 nurses in the Algarve, as well as seven therapeutic and diagnostic health professionals and 105 interns, Nunes outlines the ongoing needs of the region.
He told the press that doctors are needed in a wide range of specialties, from Anaesthesiology, Cardiology and General Surgery to Medical Oncology, Orthopaedics and Urology.
Tourism boss meets with Health Ministry
The ongoing uncertainty in the region’s health service led the president of the Algarve tourism board (RTA) Desidério Silva to meet with the Ministry of Health last week. The RTA boss said he was “happy to hear” the news of new job vacancies and funding for basic emergency services.
Silva also stressed the importance of a sustainable, functioning health service “not only for our visitors, but also for our residents”.
Hospital still investigates doctor’s refusal to revive patient
Just as hospital chief Pedro Nunes told the Resident last week, the CHA is still investigating the case of a Spanish doctor who allegedly refused to revive an elderly woman who ended up dying.
PSP police were even called to the scene to break up a fight between two nurses and the doctor, and Portuguese media quickly pounced on the story, leading Left Bloc party (BE) members to question the Ministry of Health.
The nurses claimed that they had asked the doctor to help them revive the woman, in her 80s, who had just entered cardiac arrest, but were told by the doctor that he was “too busy” prescribing medication to another patient.
Another doctor attempted to revive the woman, but it was too late.
Pedro Nunes had told the Resident that the doctor was sent home and suspended while the hospital investigates the circumstances of the death. If it is proven that the doctor did, in fact, refuse to revive the woman, Nunes guaranteed that he will be “fired” and that the hospital will present a “formal criminal complaint” against him.